NerdFury - Big Daddy (nerdfury) wrote in 1word1day,
NerdFury - Big Daddy
nerdfury
1word1day

Hello!

I haven't got a word today, but I thought I would post something completely different. Kinda. It's still a phrase, but it's a pretty neat phrase/rule I like to pull out when the need arises, and it's surprised me how few people know about this fantastic rule.

Today's fabulous thingy is:

Occam's Razor [okh-am's ray-zor]

Occam's Razor is the principle that "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily." The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory.

Or, to simplify it: "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one."

Etymology
Named after the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham

The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae ("law of parsimony", "law of economy", or "law of succinctness"): entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, roughly translated as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." An alternative version Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate translates "plurality should not be posited without necessity."

Usage
Faced with dozen choices all laid out before him, Steve had spent the last hour trying to decide where he should go. The desk was covered in scrunched up pieces of paper and empty cans of Red Bull, the whiteboards covered in brain-stormed ideas and drawings. Everyone's sleeves were rolled up and their ties were loose - and the deadline was fast approaching.

"Well," said Steve, "let's apply Occam's Razor to the situation - the simplest notion is usually the correct one - we're getting pizza for dinner!"
Tags: phrase, wordsmith: nerdfury
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  • Wednesday Word: Sfumato

    Sfumato - noun. Sfumato is an art term that describes a painting technique where the edges are blurred and blended, leaving a super soft…

  • Saturday Word: Zarf

    Howdy friends, I'm still here! I'm barrelling towards the end of the semester and haven't had a few minutes to sit down and queue up entries. Zarf…

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    Hapax - noun. Here's a cool term for all the word nerds out there, suggested by full_metal_ox along with a fascinating link about…